Partnerships approval process A

(for articulation, where only the UoA awards a degree, student exchange and study abroad)


Before undertaking a great deal of work on a potential partnership, first assess the value of the partnership – whether it will clearly contribute to University’s strategic goals, whether the School has the resources required to support the partnership, and what the benefits and risks might be.  Discuss your initial idea with the Head of School and the relevant Regional Dean.  If there is support from the Head of School and Dean, you should then prepare Partnership Proposal Form A.  If you have any discussions with a potential partner, it is important that it is made clear that the discussions are exploratory only at this stage.  


Partnerships such as articulation where only the UoA awards a degree, student exchange and study abroad are viewed low risk because they do not require financial investment by the University and it is only UoA who awards the degree.  They can be viewed as an alternative route into the University and as such are handled by SRAS.  Once the School and Regional Dean have approved in principle SRAS will then determine if such a partnership is feasible, e.g. will we be able to furnish the terms of any agreement, will we get enough students wanting to do an exchange, is there enough curriculum matching to enable seamless progression? This is done in consultation with the Schools and the Partner. 


For articulation where only the UoA awards a degree, student exchange and study abroad the draft agreement will be based on templates held by SRAS.  SRAS will liaise with the Schools/Disciplines concerned to ensure curriculum mapping has taken place (particularly for articulation agreements) and will coordinate discussions with the proposed partner as necessary.


Once all parties are happy with the content of the agreement SRAS will send the draft agreement to the Head of School and to QAC ( to ensure that the business case and academic quality have not been compromised during the negotiations.  The draft agreement will also be sent to R&I ( for a final legal check.  Approval by the Head of School, the QAC and R&I at this point signifies University approval for the Partnership and no further changes to the agreement will be permitted.

Following the conclusion of negotiations, the formal Agreement governing the partnership can be signed.  R&I will arrange for signature by the authorized signatories at Aberdeen and at the partner; for UoA this is the University Secretary.  There is an internal requirement for a cover paper to be appended prior to signature by the University of Aberdeen signatory which is made available from R&I once the final agreement has been approved by the QAC and R&I.  Once all parties have signed the agreement R&I will ensure that Aberdeen’s copy of the signed Agreement is retained in the University’s central database.  Copies will be available to the School as necessary, for the management of the partnership.


In the UK, institutions are required to have a legally binding Agreement signed by the authorized signatories of both (all) parties in place before any students are admitted or exchanged. For UoA this is the University Secretary.

Students may only be admitted to a partnership programme once an Agreement has been signed by all parties.

It is important for purposes of statutory reporting, audit and award that students who are on a partnership programme can be distinguished easily from students who are on a parallel non-partnership programme. For this reason, students must be assigned to the correct version of the programme on admission and on registration.


Further information, including that on ongoing management, quality assurance procedures, monitoring, review and annual reporting, renewal and termination can be found here